Lung Association Report: High Levels of Cancer-Causing Radon Gas Detected in 40% of Pennsylvania Homes

During National Radon Action Month in January, the Lung Association urges everyone to test their home for radon – Governor Shapiro issues Proclamation: January 2024 Radon Action Month in State

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the “State of Lung Cancer” report reveals that it is detected at high levels in about 40% of homes in Pennsylvania. During January for National Radon Action Month, the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania is urging everyone to help save lives by testing their home for radon and mitigating if high levels are detected. In accordance with Radon Action Month, the Lung Association is offering a limited supply of radon test kits to Pennsylvania residents. The test kits are available at no charge, one per household, while supplies last, only at Lungradonkits.org/pa. The program is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas emitted from the ground. Radon is odorless, tasteless and colorless, and can enter a home through cracks in floors, basement walls, foundations and other openings. Radon can be present at high levels inside homes, schools and other buildings. Nationally, it is responsible for an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year and is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked.

“Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking in the United States, and is a serious concern within the Commonwealth,” said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley. “The Department of Environmental Protection remains committed to working with home builders, school districts, realtors and other Pennsylvania departments to address radon issues and keeping all Pennsylvanians safe,” said Jessica Shirley, Interim Acting Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Here in Pennsylvania, about 40% of radon test results equal or exceed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level of 4 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter of air), according to the Lung Association’s “State of Lung Cancer” report. Recently, Pennsylvania Governor Shapiro issued a proclamation declaring January 2024 Radon Action Month in the Commonwealth.

“Radon in homes is more common than you think. Pennsylvania has one of the nation’s most serious radon problems. High levels of radioactive radon gas have been found in every county but most places in the Commonwealth remain undertested, so this isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States,” said Kevin Stewart, Director, Environmental Health. for the Lung Association. “Testing is the only way to know how much radon is in your home. The good news is that it is easy to test. Do-it-yourself test kits are simple to use and inexpensive.”

If high levels are confirmed, a radon professional should install a radon mitigation system, which is easy and relatively affordable. A typical radon mitigation system consists of a vent pipe, fan and properly sealing cracks and other openings. This system collects radon gas from underneath the foundation and vents it to the outside. Contact the Pennsylvania radon program online or at 1-800-237-2366 for a list of certified professionals.

Learn more about radon testing and mitigation at Lung.org/radon and take the Lung Association’s free Radon Basics course at Lung.org/Radon-Basics.

For more information, contact:

Valerie Gleason
717-971-1123
[email protected]

Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | Apr 17, 2024
Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 07, 2024